Chill Clinton is a trading card enthusiast and investor who operates an online trading card store.
What do you get when you cross an ornery tortoise with heavy artillery?
Well, you get one of the most iconic Pokémon from the original 151 characters released in the First Generation of the popular media franchise: Blastoise.
While arguably one of the more recognizable characters in the series, Blastoise doesn't appear on very many highly sought-after Pokémon trading cards. However, this doesn't mean that this ferocious water-type isn't featured on its fair share of rare cards that many enthusiasts clamor to add to their collections.
Let's take a look at five of the most valuable and difficult to find Blastoise trading cards in the English-language market!
1. Dark Blastoise (3)- Team Rocket, 2000
Dark Blastoise (3) is the second iteration of the Pokémon to be printed in the the 21st Century! Within the lore of the Team Rocket set, following the 2000 release of Base Set 2, the formidable foes of Team Rocket have captured dozens of Pokémon from their original trainers, and have turned them into evil shadows of their former selves.
Team Rocket is also unique as it was the first set in which individual booster packs were not sold in cardboard-backed blister packs, making near mint and mint condition copies of Dark Blastoise (3) difficult to come by!
As of early 2022, there are fewer than 2,700 PSA authenticated copies of Dark Blastoise (3) Unlimited, with fewer than 2% of those copies being considered to be in mint condition.
2. Blastoise (137)- Plasma Storm, 2013
Plasma Storm is the eighth set released in the Black & White series, which premiered the Fifth Generation of Pokémon. This set featured a considerably higher population of secret rare cards than did sets of the time, with Blastoise being one of six that features a brilliant gold border, and an elevated degree of exclusivity.
In fact, the likelihood of pulling this particular Blastoise card from a pack of Plasma Storm is very slim, requiring a collector to, on average, open 432 booster packs to receive just one. That's if a collector could even track own 432 booster packs, which could cost a them over $60,000!
As of 2022, there are fewer than 650 PSA authenticated copies of Blastoise (137), and fewer than 7% of those are considered to be in mint condition!
3. Blastoise ex (104)- EX FireRed & LeafGreen, 2004
Blastoise ex (104) from EX Fire Red & Leaf Green was the first Blastoise card to receive the "ex" distinction.
This set was one of the most distinguished early sets from the EX block, which first premiered in 2003, paying homage to the earliest Pokémon sets by exclusively featuring First Generation Pokémon. Naturally, Charizard ex was the most sought after card in this set, but this ultra rare Blastoise ex is not far behind in terms of prestige.
As of early 2022, there are fewer than 550 PSA authenticated Blastoise ex (104) cards, and only around 23% of those cards are considered to be in mint condition.
4. Blastoise (4)- Expedition, 2002
Expedition was an unique set in the history of Pokémon. This set included the first appearance of the Dot Code feature, compatible with the Nintendo E-Reader, a Gameboy Advanced accessory that allowed players to scan their Pokémon cards to unlock exclusive content, and play mini-games. This short-lived feature was only printed in the Expedition, Aquapolis, and Skyridge sets, but was eventually discontinued when The Pokémon Company overtook production and distribution from Wizards of the Coast in 2003.
Blastoise (4) was just one of three cards in the set to feature this Pokémon, with one being a non-holo version of this card, and a second non-holo Blastoise card (36) featuring a different illustration and different attacks. No other holographic Blastoise cards has ever featured a Dot Code, making this card an extremely unique piece.
As of early 2022, only around 450 PSA authenticated Blastoise (4) cards exist, and of that population, around 13% of those cards are considered to be in mint condition.
5. Blastoise (2)- Base Set, 1999
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Blastoise's first appearance on a Pokémon trading card widely available to the American market. Though often selling for just a fraction of the price typically garnered by a Base Set Charizard, Blastoise remains one of the most iconic and sought after Pokémon cards of all time.
But you might be surprised to discover that Base Set Blastoise cards aren't necessarily among the most valuable Pokémon cards of all time. Base Set was released amidst the absolute height in Pokémon's popularity. As a result, this card was printed and distributed in four separate printings of increasing volumes.
Therefore, the vast majority of the existing Blastoise (2) cards are considered "Unlimited", which means that they were produced in the third and fourth print cycles of Base Set. But this doesn't mean that Unlimited Blastoise (2) cards in great condition are not still valuable since the demand for this iconic piece remains high.
As of early 2022, almost 16,000 PSA authenticated Unlimited copies of this Blastoise card exist. However, only around 2% are considered to be in mint condition!